The 6 core elements of my VTMO course (& why they’re important)

THE 6 CORE ELEMENTS OF MY VTMO COURSE (& WHY THEY'RE IMPORTANT) INTRODUCTION  Today I’m talking about the 6 core elements in my popular Visible Thinking in the Museum Online (VTMO) course - elements that you should also have in your toolbox and repertoire as key factors for connecting with your audience and engaging them with art and objects. I'm also talking about the history behind the course and how it came about - at the start of the pandemic in 2020! THE STORY BEHIND VTMO In March 2020, like many people I lost all my in-person

What to Expect from The Art of Engagement Challenge

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE ART OF ENGAGEMENT CHALLENGE INTRODUCTION  Would you love to learn how to design and lead engaging discussions around art and objects in just 4 days? On Monday through to Thursday next week (13-19 September 2021), I’ll be sharing 4 principles that are key 🔑 for creating engagement and connection when you're designing and leading art discussions. ⁠ In this BONUS episode of The Art Engager podcast you’ll learn everything you need to know about what happens when you join the challenge, who it's for and how it will work. Join in the 4

Creating a Great Group Dynamic in the ‘New Now’

CREATING A GREAT GROUP DYNAMIC IN THE 'NEW NOW' SUMMARY Welcome back to the Art Engager podcast! Today I’m talking about building rapport and creating a great group dynamic in the 'new now'. Creating a great group dynamic is even MORE important now after the last year or so. We will need to take extra care to create social comfort and psychological safety, we will also need to build trust and social interaction. In this episode I'm talking about : what group dynamics are the different types of groups you might come across the roles people play in

Writing through art: 9 ways art can make you a better writer

Writing through Art: 9 Ways Art can Make you a Better Writer Throughout the ages, looking at art has been a unique way of finding inspiration and creativity. If you go as far back as the Greeks, you can find examples of writing inspired by art, called ekphrasis, which means “a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art” Art is a frequent source of inspiration for many writers and poets over the centuries. John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a famous example and William Blake said that poetry and art are 'ways to converse

How to use ‘See Think Me We’ thinking routine to create personal and community connections with artworks

Every month in the Visible Thinking Membership we have a specialist thinking routine class that gives us the opportunity to discover a new thinking routine or to dig a bit deeper into one we already know. This month, we discovered thinking routine See Think Me We. Here’s how we used See Think Me We thinking routine to make personal and community connections with an art work. What is 'See Think Me We' thinking routine? See Think Me We is a thinking routine for connecting to the bigger picture. It invites participants to make personal and community connections with works

How to tell if my VTMO course is right for you: 7 crucial factors

Would you like to make your tours, guided discussions and/or educational programmes more interactive and engaging but don’t know where to start? Maybe you lead a team of guides that are stuck in their ways and more used to traditional walk-and-talk style tours and programmes? If so, you might be considering enrolling in my VTMO course to learn how to engage your audiences and confidently lead interactive discussions around art and museum objects. But how can you tell if this course is right for you? In this blog, I’m going to explain 7 crucial factors to help you narrow down your

11 quick ways to improve your questioning techniques

The ability to ask powerful, relevant and incisive questions is one of the most useful skills you can have. You can instantly engage people, provoke curiosity, find out what people already know and make your programmes more interactive. But what makes a ‘good’ question? Good questions are those that invite discussion and encourage exploration. Poor questions can cut a discussion short and put pressure on participants to answer.  Taking the time to improve, plan and work on your questions will prompt more responses, deeper thoughts and will engage your participants more in the theme or subject of your discussion.   So,

Why you feel scared of leading art discussions (and what to do about it)

Leading tours and educational programmes that are based on discussion, inquiry and interaction can be a scary business. Both for you and for your participants. And if you're about to take your first steps, it might seem really daunting. However, do remember that any concerns you have are perfectly normal and you’re not alone (we’ve all been there and had to start somewhere). Take it one step at a time and with time, practice and guidance, it will get easier (I promise!). In this post, I’ve summarised the most common fears and concerns about leading discussion-based programmes that I’ve heard

How to Facilitate Effectively Wearing a Face Mask

In some countries, educators, guides and creatives are back to teaching and facilitating discussions about art and objects in-person, whilst others are looking to return shortly. In many institutions and organisations (e.g. museums and heritage centres), this will only be possible behind a mask. So, how can you facilitate effectively with a face mask on? How can you still communicate clearly and create an atmosphere where everyone is happy to contribute? And what extra strategies can you employ to ensure engagement and interaction?  This post was inspired by a creative brainstorming session in my membership group The VT Membership. We

What is Visible Thinking in the Museum?

I found out 10 years ago that many museum educators and guides were struggling to meet the demands of leading inquiry-based programmes – sometimes the training was too brief, too confusing, or just too complicated. I wanted to simplify the process and increase the engagement factor for both facilitator and audience. In 2011, I discovered the magic of Visible Thinking and have since developed ‘Visible Thinking in the Museum‘ – a method that uses thinking routines to help question formulation and structure, along with facilitation techniques, collaborative learning and museum education practices. The result is ‘inquiry made simple’. A easy-to-follow process that allows